Fraudster jailed for £80,000 VAT scam

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Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

An electrician has been jailed for 10 months for an £80,000 fraud evasion following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs.

Steve Newman, of Airey Close, Newton, was the owner of electrical company SN Electricians.

The 37-year-old registered for VAT in 2006, but paid nothing to HMRC despite claiming £40,000 in repayments.

He claimed business had been poor but, when investigators looked at his records, they showed he actually owed HMRC nearly £80,000.

Paul Barton, HMRC assistant director of criminal investigation, said: “Newman thought he could abuse the system by submitting false VAT returns to generate repayments, and claiming that his business was not making any money.

“He said he had borrowed money from family members to keep him afloat, but our investigation revealed that to be a lie.”

During interview, Newman told officers that he had lost all of his business records when he was clearing out his home.

But after investigators confronted him with financial evidence, he admitted that he had been doing cash jobs and that his VAT returns were not accurate.

He also admitted that the purchases on his VAT returns did not reflect his business.

Newman was sentenced to 10 months in prison for the fraudulent evasion of VAT to the sum of £77,941.

“Not paying VAT is illegal and anyone who knows someone committing a similar fraud should contact our evasion hotline,” added Mr Barton.